Races

In Purity, Caitlyn learns that every major mythological race exists in hiding. Not every race is covered in the story (because I wouldn’t live long enough to write all that down), but there are some main ones that are major points within the story, and which Caitlyn personally interacts with. This is a list of the races, their mythological backbone, and their part in the story.

Strigoi Mort/Morţi: Otherwise known as vampires, these creatures are undead creatures of Romanian folklore. They are the most populous mythological creatures in the story, and serve as rulers of several minor races as well. Notable characteristics include elongated canine teeth, an allergy to silver and holy objects, prolonged un-life, flesh that burns in sunlight, and a hunger for blood.

Vârcolac(i): Otherwise known as werewolves, these creatures are wolf-like  creatures of Romanian folklore. They are the second-most populous mythological creatures in the story, and are ruled by the vampires, having unsuccessfully attempted several times throughout history to break free of this rule. Notable characteristics include sharp teeth, claws, a heightened sense of smell and hearing, craving for meat, pack mentality, and the ability to shapeshift into the form of a large wolf on the full moon and otherwise.

Pricolici: Otherwise known as the half-breed, these creatures are werewolves who have died to become vampires of Romanian folklore. There is only one known half-breed in the story. Notable characteristics include sharp teeth with elongated canines, claws, a heightened sense of smell and hearing, a hunger for blood, the ability to shapeshift into the form of a large wolf (and retain sanity) on the full moon, and shapeshift into the form of a large wolf (and lose sanity) otherwise.

Ljósálfar: Otherwise known as light elves, these creatures are fair, godly beings residing in heaven of Norse folklore. They have come to live in the Scandinavian countries in the story, and are the longtime allies of the vampires, and enemies of the dark elves. Notable characteristics include golden hair, fair skin, and blue eyes, who are “fairer than the sun”.

Dökkálfar: Otherwise known as dark elves, these creatures are swarthy underground peoples of Norse folklore. They have come to live in the Scandinavian countries’ isolated lands in the story, and are the longtime enemies of the light elves. Notable characteristics include black hair, dark skin, dark eyes, who are “blacker than pitch”.

Bean Sí: Otherwise known as banshees, these creatures are siren women of Irish (and Scottish) folklore. They wail and keen when people of the great families are about to die or have died, and are seen as omens and messengers of death. Notable characteristics include wearing white or grey gowns, fair hair, and powerful lungs.

Valkyrie: These creatures are handmaidens to fallen Viking warriors in Valhalla of Norse folklore. They serve mead to the warriors, and rarely leave Valhalla; only a very small handful exist in the mortal world in the story. Notable characteristics are few, as they are virtually indistinguishable from human women.

Selkie: These creatures are seals in Irish (and Scottish) folklore. They live as seals in the sea, but shed their skins to come on land and appear as men and women; if their skins are stolen by humans and hidden, they are forced to remain on land. These creatures are rare in the story, as it is set inland. Notable characteristics are few in either for, as they are virtually indistinguishable from seals or humans.

Mermaid: These creatures are aquatic beings with the bottom half of a fish and the top half of a human, of world folklore. They keep to themselves, but will sing at passing ships at sea, and lure the sailors to their doom. They are extremely rare in the story, and rule the other aquatic creatures, such as the selkies. Notable characteristics include a fish tail, a human torso, and aquatic features.

Ghost: These creatures are the souls of dead beings trapped in the mortal realm, whether stuck in Purgatory or in an unhallowed grave. Some strong willed spirits who have passed on still have the ability to visit, in the story. They don’t typically wander far from the place where they died. Notable characteristics include a translucent form, desaturated colours, and the ability to decide their visibility.

Gargoyle: These creatures are stone chimeras with the souls of demons trapped inside, in the story. There are four, created by Satan for his minion’s underground castle. Notable characteristics include a grotesque stone visage, with personalities varying between each.

Angel: These creatures are holy beings, so rare in the story that they are only briefly seen by those at death’s door. They are shepherds for the sanctified souls of the dead, and don’t differ greatly from Christian folklore. Notable characteristics are few, as reports are nearly impossible to retrieve.

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